Financial Translator: 10 Ways to cut spending and find extra money every month
Living on less than you make can sound easier said than done. When you get to the end of the month there is always less money than there is expenses. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra $100-$200 dollars in your budget every month? What are some small tricks you can do to create extra money in your budget every month? Below are 10 simple tweaks you can make to cut spending every month!
10 Tricks to save money in your budget
Monthly Potential Savings – $50-$180 dollars
The average home air conditioner in the U.S. costs to operate in the neighborhood of 60 cents/hr in electricity. Exact amount will depend on your local electricity rates and AC size. If like most people, you leave your thermostat set all the time. You are potentially running the AC most of the day, especially in hot summer months. By turning your AC to a warmer temperature during the day. Say 76-78, you can eliminate up to 10 hours per day of run time. By running your AC for 10 less hours during the day, you will save $6/day. If you did that for 30 days you just found $180 dollars in a month. How much could using less AC save your household? especially during the summer?
2. Shop Services/Utilities
Monthly Potential Savings – $50 dollars
When is the last time you checked your Wifi bill? Your Phone bill? Have you been paying the same amount for longer than you can remember? Service providers like internet and phone constantly have sales and promotions going on. You can often take advantage of promotion rates on services you already have, just by calling. They call these “teaser” rates. We have the tendency to sign up for a service we never expect to drop and just forget it. The $50 dollars you were paying for internet the first year. Has it been 80 the last two? Your cell phone bill, when is the last time you called to ask about any service promotions they have? Could you be getting the same service for 25% less? You should investigate your essential services at least once a year.
3. Take a Spending Holiday
4. Set Price Alerts for Items You’re Going to Purchase Anyways
Monthly Potential Savings – $30 Dollars
Tooth paste, paper towels, dish detergent. There are items we all expect to purchase as part of every day life. Why not buy those items when they’re on sale? E-Commerce sites today give us the ability to set price alerts for just about anything. If you know Toilet paper is normally $10 dollars. Set a price alert for when its less than 8. Most items you can usually find at one time or another for at least 20% off the regular price. You’re going to buy them anyways, why not get them on sale?
5. Buy The Generic Brand
Monthly Potential Savings – $30 -$50 dollars
At the time of writing this, on walmart.com, the price for Hefty™ 13 Gallons Ultra Strong Flex bags 80 count is $12.14. Great Value™ 13 Gallon Strong Flex bags 80 count is $9.44. Tide™ 92oz liquid detergent $11.97 Great Value™ liquid detergent 100oz $5.98. Generic brands often have the same active ingredients as the name brand. Food items often have very similar ingredients and nutrition information. How much are you paying for labels every month?
6. Go for a Walk/Listen to a Book – Share Audio
Monthly Potential Savings – $100 dollars
One of the hardest places people find to save money is dating or spending time with our spouse/significant other. The traditional date even to a casual restaurant will usually run you at least $100 dollars if you have a drink or two, or do anything after or before. Popular brand headphones now have the ability to share blue tooth between two pairs of headphones. Instead of going to dinner or out. Ride down to your local park or outdoor walking area. Pick a topic you both are interested in. You can find podcasts and audio books for almost anything these days. Walk and listen to your book together. You can even hold hands through the park and score extra cute points. All while saving money for the future you two are building together.
7. Attend Community Events
Monthly Potential Savings – $20 – $50 dollars
How many activities does your town have you’ve never even looked into? That park you walked through listening to your book last week. Did you know they had Bocce Ball? Old town is putting on a Greek festival this weekend. There are likely lots of activities that are little or no cost taking place in your town. At least when there is not a pandemic outside. Instead of just going down to the movie theater to get out of the house. Do some research and find out activities you could be doing that don’t cost a dime.
8. Have a Drink Before you go (Responsibly)
Monthly Potential Savings $20-$50 dollars
A cocktail at your favorite restaurant these days probably runs you about $10 bucks each. If you are a millenial like me, you probably love going out for a drink. Whether its date night, meeting friends, we like to try new places and taste good things! Instead of having two drinks at the restaurant why not have one before you go? Of course if driving please do this responsibly. For two people, a round of cocktails will probably cost you at least $20 dollars. All of a sudden that meat and cheese board and two glasses of wine each you had is a $60 date. If you had a glass before you left would it detract from your experience? Or would it just save you $20 bucks?
9. Cut out/Rotate Streaming Subscriptions
Monthly Potential Savings $15 – $50 dollars
Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ a bundle of streaming subscriptions is getting to be as expensive as having cable in the first place! Do you need them all at once? Most Streaming subscriptions can now be canceled and restarted as easy as a couple of clicks. If your binging Game of Thrones for the next two months, do you really need Netflix and Hulu? If you can’t put down Narcos, why not let that Disney+ lapse. For me, I keep Youtube TV for live sports. While there hasn’t been any live sports, I’ve canceled my subscription. It’s already saved me over $200 dollars.
10. Automate Saving Every Day
Monthly Potential Savings $100 – $400 dollars
Possibly the most important item on the list. Most people manage the majority of their money by one thing; their checking account. We want to go to dinner this weekend, we check our checking account, and decide whether we can go or not. While we hope you eventually use a budget rather than your checking account to make spending decisions. We can use this behavior to our advantage. Set up automatic DAILY drafts from your checking account to your savings account. Most banks will offer you a free savings account for doing something very small like making a monthly transfer to it. Automatically set your checking account to transfer $5-$20 to your savings account every day. Banks will complete transactions on business days so that is about 20 transfers a month. By making this daily transfer to your savings, AND NOT TOUCHING IT. You will naturally curve your spending behavior by tricking yourself into thinking you have less money available. Just by you transferring $10 dollars a day for two months. You would save $400 dollars. If you did it for a year you’d have $2,400 dollars. That would make a sizable chunk on that student loan you’re trying to pay down.
Personal Finance is 20% intellect and 80% behavior.
We know there is no earth shattering rocket science here. That’s the point. Little pebbles make big mountains. We often just don’t take time to see them stacking.
If you want to make a change and start changing your family tree. I’d love to walk with you. There is no cost, no obligation, no shame. Just Coaching and Support. Just fill out the form below and someone will follow up with you.